100+ Suggested Events in Western MA: November 30 – December 13, 2019

Awarded the “Essential Agent of Change Award” by the MDPH’s Massachusetts Essentials for Childhood, Hilltown Families is recognized as a leading family strengthening initiative in the region, promoting “positive parenting through the social norm of community social connectedness.” Serving Western Massachusetts since 2005, Hilltown Families continues to support the development and enhancement of our local economy and community. Local businesses, farms, individuals, schools, and non-profit organizations are invited to collaborate with Hilltown Families in their community outreach. With over 9,000 opt-in subscribers and 2.6+ million visits to our web site alone, Hilltown Families can deliver your message to thousands of families living throughout the four counties of Western MA! Find out about our affordable advertising options and how you can partner with Hilltown Families in your online marketing by contacting us at info@hilltownfamilies.org… and scroll down to discover community-based educational events and community building opportunities happening this weekend and next week in Western MA!

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Sale Nov 29 – Dec 2

Save up to 30% on enriching and educational holiday gifts this Thanksgiving weekend! Oak Meadow’s Thanksgiving sale runs from November 29 – December 2 and includes all items in their online bookstore. Save 20% on their K-12 curriculum, which provides challenging and inspiring learning experiences for creative, motivated students. Or save 30% on their craft supplies, homeschooling resources, and novels & readers. Shop this Thanksgiving weekend at oakmeadowbookstore.com.

Dec 4

Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Present: A Celtic Family Christmas. Wednesday, December 4, 7pm, UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall in Amherst, MA. This holiday season join award-winning fiddle virtuosos Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy for an intimate and unique Christmas concert. With the duo accompanied by an incredible array of talented musicians – and their children – A Celtic Family Christmas welcomes the audience into the wonderful world of their family holiday celebration. Come early, wear your ugly sweaters, and create your own holiday photo. $25-$45; Youth 17 & Under: $10-15. Approximately 1.5 hours. Appropriate for all ages. More at fineartscenter.com/macmaster or call 800-999-UMAS.

Nov 29 – Dec 31

Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibit and Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!”

Nov 29-30

Picture Book Theatre presents its final season with performances at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Don’t miss their final show, The Littlest Matryoshka: NOV 29, 1pm & 2:30pm; NOV 30, 11am. The 40-minute family program brings this delightful picture book to life with music & large string puppets. Recommended for ages 5+, the story features Nina, the smallest of a group of Russian nesting dolls and her journey home to her sisters. Tickets: $5/person (Members $4.50) & may be purchased in advance at the museum or by calling 413-559-6336. Admission is not included or required. Book signing with author Corinne Demas to follow the program.

Dec 7

Winter Fair! An alternative to traditional holiday buying, this fun and participatory Winter Fair on Dec. 7, 10am-3pm, at the Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School in Easthampton offers a chance to create homemade gifts and enjoy crafting, musical performances and delicious food! Many crafts use recycled and natural materials – including fairy houses, full-sized wreaths, jewelry, herbal sachets, and more. HCCPS is a public school serving grades K-8 and emphasizing an arts-integrated approach. There is no tuition; admission is by lottery for students in Hampshire and Franklin counties. All proceeds from the Fair support the school’s library and educational programs. For information about the Fair or the school: www.hilltowncharter.org

Open House: Dec 8

The Academy at Charlemont (1359 Route 2 in Charlemont, MA) will host an Admissions Open House event for interested families on Sunday, December 8, with presentations starting at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents, and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic programs and warm and inclusive community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. The Academy offers generous financial aid and daily round trip bus service from Greenfield, Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns. Imagine loving school every day. Details at www.charlemont.org.

Dec 13 – 15

Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration revels in the return of the sun with a show full of music, dance, song, and story to drive the dark away. A myth of the importance of music in our lives is told with the help of magical beasts in the form of puppets. The show includes traditional songs and dances along with new material from Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule’s founder and Colin De la Barre. Enjoy the Abbots Bromley Horn dance, a sword dance, the now-familiar carols, a mummers play, and the passing of the yule log. The Shea Theater, Turners Falls, MA. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13th &14th at 7:30pm, Sunday, Dec.15th at 2pm. Tickets: adults $15, children 5 – 16 years and seniors $12. For reservations and information, see www.welcomeyule.org.

Dec 13-15

Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 13-15 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 13 at 4pm has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience and is also ideal for young children. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org.

Dec 21

Save the Date! This holiday season, experience the beloved story of The Nutcracker told through Celtic Dance. A Celtic Nutcracker will beautifully blend the Tchaikovsky score with live Celtic music and original choreography by the Celtic Heels Dance Company Director, Cara Leach. Bring your family to this one showing event on Saturday, December 21st at 3pm at the Academy of Music, Northampton. Featuring the Celtic Heels Irish Dance Company and live music this is sure to become a family tradition for anyone who loves the Nutcracker or Celtic Dance! Tickets are $12-20. Information can be found at www.aomtheatre.com.

Sale

Nikki Gardner Photography is offering a sale on a Fall Mini Portrait Session through December 6th. These fun 30-minute sessions (in their Northampton studio or on location) are great for holiday cards and family portraits! The price of a mini session is $150 and includes 5 digital files; a non-refundable deposit of $50 saves your session date/time, and $100 is due at the session! Press-printed holiday cards: 25 cards for $50. Additional files, albums, and prints available. Nikki Gardner Photography offers boutique portrait and commercial photography for the artistic soul. For more info and to book your mini session: www.nikkigardnerphotography.com; nikki@nikkigardnerphotography; 978-684-2294.

Imagine a cozy space where caretakers and their little people are invited to read, create, play, & linger together. Now place it in downtown Florence, right off the bike path—then add bike & stroller parking, comfy spots for relaxing & feeding, and a family-friendly bathroom. It’s High Five Books, a NEW independent kids’ community bookstore. High Five Books is the neighborhood go-to for new board & picture books, early- and middle-grade readers, YA books & graphic novels, plus art kits and other creative supplies. They share their welcoming space with Art Always, an art school for children & adults. They offer $5 daily drop-in art sessions, family literacy & art events, and snacks. And, of course, high fives anytime. www.highfivebooks.org

6 Week Program

Six-Week Ski & Snowboard After-School & Homeschool Program at Ski Blandford in Blandford, MA. Designed for the novice through the advanced, ages 6-17. Learn the basics and develop skills by purchasing the whole package! Packages include lift tickets, rentals, helmet, and lessons. Or, build-your-own custom package! Lessons are one hour long, once a week. An After-School Program is held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and a Homeschool Program is available during the day on Wednesdays and Fridays. Costs of the program: $90 Lift Tickets; $90 Rentals; $120 Lessons; and $40 Helmet. For more info or to register: www.skiblandford.com; office@skiblandford.com; 413-848-2860. Build confidence, have fun with friends, and make lifelong memories!

Western Massachusetts is rich in learning opportunities to supplement the interests of children, teens, and lifelong learners! Hilltown Families Class Directory features classes, lessons, enrichment programs, and membership opportunities across Western Massachusetts and throughout the year. Our Class Directory makes it easier to find these gems while connecting families with resources that support their interests and education, including theater, music, dance, art, and much more. — Have a class, private lesson, or program you’d like to include in our directory? More Information. | Reserve a spot. | Submit your listing.


LIST OF WEEKLY SUGGESTED EVENTS
November 30 – December 13, 2019

Saturday, Nov 30Sunday, Dec 1
Monday, Dec 2Tuesday, Dec 3Wednesday, Dec 4
Thursday, Dec 5Friday, Dec 6

Saturday, Dec 7Sunday, Dec 8
Monday, Dec 9Tuesday, Dec 10Wednesday, Dec 11
Thursday, Dec 12Friday, Dec 13

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The events below are shared as a courtesy. While we do our best to share accurate and up-to-date information, please take the time to confirm date, time, place, age appropriateness, registration requirements, and costs before attending.

Events Happening in the Hilltown


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30

Saturday, November 30, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/FRIENDSHIP: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show is a celebration of global holidays, and light with Guest DJs, James Coffey, and Katherine Dines from the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band. It features many award-winning artists, as well as fantastic educational content about several of the holidays highlighted, including Chinese New Year and Diwali. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, November 30, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 10am-4pm – LIVING HISTORY/ARTS AND CRAFTS: 17th Century Life. British historian Eric Hobsbawm, renowned for his scholarship on the rise of industrial capital, coined the term ‘the General Crisis’ to refer to the 17th century. This period was marked by a huge number of massive social upheavals in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the New World. In Europe, the Thirty Years War caused a 30 percent reduction in the population of Germany, as over 8 million people died in the conflict. Poland lost a third of its population. In China, as the Ming dynasty collapsed, over 50 million people died in the span of 40 years. Revolts and civil wars led to the destabilization of many of the world’s largest nations. Also, during this period, enormous amounts of material wealth began arriving in Europe and China from the New World, as settlers and conquistadors extracted huge quantities of silver from Mexico and Bolivia. Amidst all this chaos and suffering, scientific and industrial developments surged forward. The 17th-century was the century of Galileo, Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, John Locke, and Thomas Hobbes. During this time, life for the colonists in New England may have felt relatively untouched by these massive events occurring elsewhere. Learn all about what daily life would have looked like for the 17th-century colonists right here in the Pioneer Valley! Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 11am – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/PICTURE BOOK: Picture Book Theatre presents its final season with performances at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst. Don’t miss their final show, The Littlest Matryoshka: NOV 24, 2:30pm; NOV 29, 1pm & 2:30pm; NOV 30, 11am. A special Behind the Scenes program precedes the 11/24 show at 1:30pm. The 40-minute family program brings this delightful picture book to life with music & large string puppets. Recommended for ages 5+, the story features Nina, the smallest of a group of Russian nesting dolls and her journey home to her sisters. Tickets: $5/person (Members $4.50) & may be purchased in advance at the museum or by calling 413-559-6336. Admission is not included or required. Book signing with author Corinne Demas to follow the program. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. 413-559-6300. 125 W Bay Rd, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 11am – SKILLSHARING/SEWING: Sewing Machine Essentials. Learn sewing machine operation, parts and function, methods and techniques, troubleshooting, and basic repair. Bring in your sewing machine or learn with one on-site. RSVP required. Make-It Springfield. 413-342-1681. 168 Worthington St, Springfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 12noon-4:30pm – MYO GIFTS: “Hand-Made Gift Making” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Get started on your holiday gift list, have fun, and be creative. Learn to make a simple handmade gift that will be treasured by friends and family. Historic Deerfield will give you beautiful paper and a card to decorate too – all set and ready for giving. Gift making choices will be fun and easy for all ages. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 12-7pm – HOLIDAY CELEBRATION/TOWN COMMON: Belchertown Annual Winter Light Night. Celebrate the holiday season with your family, friends, and community members. Belchertown Town Common. Belchertown, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 4-6pm – LITERATURE IN TRANSLATION/MUSICAL: L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been called “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale” by the Library of Congress and continues to delight old and new fans. The timeless tale of Dorothy and her little dog Toto and their adventures in the magical land of Oz has inspired sequels, spinoffs, a Broadway musical adaptation, and perhaps most famously, the 1939 film starring Judy Garland. Since CBS broadcast the movie on television in 1956, watching the film has become an established American holiday tradition. This Saturday, you can watch “The Wizard of Oz” in 35mm film on the big screen at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center. 413-528-0100. 14 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 5-6pm – TREE LIGHTING: Hadley Celebration of Lights. Ring in the holidays with your community! The Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation hosts their annual Hadley Celebration of Lights The tree and gazebo lighting ceremony begins at 5pm. Sing along with a musical program and enjoy light refreshments. The Hadley Police and Fire Departments will also be collecting unwrapped toys for the children at Shriner’s Hospital and Bay State Hospital. Free community event, all are welcome. Hosted by the Edward Hopkins Educational Foundation at Hopkins Academy. 131 Russell Street. Hadley, MA.

Saturday, November 30, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 1

Sunday, December 1, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO/FRIENDSHIP: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show is a celebration of global holidays, and light with Guest DJs, James Coffey, and Katherine Dines from the Hunk-Ta-Bunk-Ta Band. It features many award-winning artists, as well as fantastic educational content about several of the holidays highlighted, including Chinese New Year and Diwali. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, December 1, 9:30am-1pm – COMMUNITY HIKE: The Gorge apres Gorge is a local post-Thanksgiving day favorite! Since 2004, families and community members have gathered for a community walk/hike along the East Branch of the Westfield River, starting off at the lovely Chesterfield Gorge. Work off some of that turkey (or tofurky) and extra servings of cornbread stuffing while joining in this beloved local tradition. Free family fun walk begins at 11am. A 5K trail run begins earlier. Proceeds benefit the Hilltown Land Trust. Gorge Apres Gorge. Chesterfield Gorge. West Chesterfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 10-11:30am – PASTRY ARTS/GINGERBREAD: Kids Gingerbread Workshop. Create an amazing, one-of-a-kind gingerbread house in this workshop! Theme Cakes by Joelene will supply the assembled house and all the fixings. Theme Cakes by Joelene. 413-279-2253. 2341 Boston Post Rd, Wilbraham, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 10am-2pm – COMMUNITY BREAKFAST/SANTA: Annual Breakfast with Santa at Elms College. This intergenerational community tradition is a festive treatwith holiday music, crafts, elves, and Santa. Elms College Dining Hall. Elms College Alumni. 291 Springfield St. Chicopee, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 10am-4pm – ARTISAN TRADITIONS/GLASS BLOWING: Glassblowing is an ancient art form, dating back at least 2,000 years with origins in Jerusalem, spreading to the Roman Empire in the 1st century BC. Originally, the craft of blowing glass was used for utilitarian purposes, like containers, table wear, and window glass. It wasn’t until the late 60′s when glassblowing was raised to the level of art, led by German artist Hans Godo Frabel. This month families can try glassblowing hands-on at Snow Farm. Make your own glass ornament with the help of a master glassblower in their glass studio. Learn about the art of glass blowing and walk away with your very own holiday keepsake… a great tradition to do with your family year after year! This glassblowing opportunity is part of Snow Farm’s Seconds Sale weekend, where 200 craftspeople from across the country sell their seconds. For ages 8+. Snow Farm-New England Craft. 413-268-3101. 5 Clary Rd, Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 11am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HOLIDAYS: Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibit and Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 12-3pm – HOLIDAY CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL: Celebrate the winter holidays with children and families in your community! Every year on the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the Berkshire Theatre Group hosts a Children’s Holiday Extravaganza, featuring face painting, pizza, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Free but tickets are required. Colonial Theatre. 413-997-4444. 111 South St, Pittsfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 12-2pm & 2-4pm – MYO WREATHS: Christmas wreaths were originally used in a wide variety of traditional spiritual practices, from the Etruscans in the Mediterranean, to the ancient Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe, and Scandinavia. In many cases, wreaths were meant as harvest talismans, decorated with ritual and symbolic objects, and blessed by priests. To this day, wreaths are typically made from evergreens and holly because they do not wither in the cold winter weather. This may symbolize strength and endurance in the face of adversity. The Leyden United Methodist Church hosts an annual wreath making workshop, open to all. Come make you own wreath at this workshop and bring any accents you may wish to include, in addition to a bow. Takes place at the Leyden Town Hall. 16 W Leyden Rd. Leyden, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 12noon-4:30pm – MYO GIFTS: “Hand-Made Gift Making” at Historic Deerfield in the History Workshop Building. Get started on your holiday gift list, have fun, and be creative. Learn to make a simple handmade gift that will be treasured by friends and family. Historic Deerfield will give you beautiful paper and a card to decorate too – all set and ready for giving. Gift making choices will be fun and easy for all ages. Historic Deerfield. 413-774-5581. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 1:30-4pm – FOOD HISTORY/GUIDED TOUR: Northampton Food Tour. Sample the best the Pioneer Valley has to offer, from a local coffee roaster to a quirky brunch spot to indulge in sweet potato fries to favorite ice cream parlor. Together with a friendly local guide, participants will sample some of Northampton’s most delicious eats while learning about the rich history of the Pioneer Valley. Organized by Off The Beaten Path Food Tours. Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 2pm – HOLIDAY MUSIC: Ring in the season with the Montague Community Band Holiday Concert! Hear all your holiday favorites, from Leroy Anderson to Tchaikovsky, Charlie Brown to the Grinch, Klezmer Dances to the Dreydl Song, Bing Crosby to Frank Sinatra, and much more. The MCB is made up of local musicians from Montague and throughout the Pioneer Valley, and directed by Hannah Smeltz. Free concert for all ages (donations accepted). Shea Theater Arts Center. 413-648-7432. 71 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 2-4pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/POETRY: Straw Dog Writers Guild and Belding Memorial Library hosts, Writers Read/Hilltowns. Bring Your Poetry! Bring Your Prose! Find Your Public! Uplift Our Souls! Here’s how it works: The featured writer reads recent work and describes the journey to publication, followed by Q & A. Then the floor opens to other writers, who can read for five minutes each; we also draw two names for 10-minute readings. If you want to read, put your name in the hat before 2:15pm. Belding Memorial Library. 413-628-4414. 344 Main St, Ashfield, MA

Sunday, December 1, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Sunday, December 1, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/CAROLING: Celebrate the holidays with some good old fashioned caroling and relive a piece of local Valley lore! Legend has it that beloved Western Massachusetts native Dr. Seuss modeled the town of “Whoville” from his 1957 classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” on Easthampton! While Dr. Seuss scholars argue that there is nothing definitive to prove this hypothesis, locals have seized on the idea, and this charming holiday celebration has been going strong for several years. There will be singing, dancing, free hot chocolate, and lots of holiday cheer! You’ll also have the chance to pose for pictures with the Grinch himself! Learn more about the Easthampton “Whobalation” at the Annual Easthampton Holiday Whobalation. Millside Park. 2 Ferry St, Easthampton, MA.


MONDAY, DECEMBER 2

Monday, December 2, 4:30pm – LANGUAGE ARTS/WORD GAMES: It is speculated that the highest possible scoring word in Scrabble has probably never been successfully played. If situated correctly, the word “OXYPHENBUTAZONE,” could theoretically score 1778 points! A far more realistic, and still highly effective word, is “ZA,” a recognized slang term for pizza, which can still get you 60 points or so. If you love Scrabble, joing the Scrabble Club for a monthly meet-up and game of Scrabble! Open to everyone, fun is the primary goal. Lily Library. 413-587-1500.19 Meadow Street, Florence, MA.

Monday, December 2, 5-8pm – LIVING HISTORY/VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: “Wreath Making for the Houses of Historic Deerfield.” Wreaths were used by various ancient cultures to symbolize success, eternal life, and victory. In more modern times, a wreath on the front door is a sign of welcome and generosity during the holiday season. Learn to make beautiful natural wreaths, seasonal symbols of hospitality, and help decorate the doorways of Historic Deerfield with handmade natural wreaths. Bring your creativity, enthusiasm, and an extra pair of pruning shears. No experience required. Supplies and refreshments provided. Free, pre-registration required. Historic Deerfield. 413-775-7179. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Monday, December 2, 6-7pm – PSYCHOLOGY: Misinformation, Fake News, and Gossip. Can the gossip you hear around the water cooler shape how you feel about someone, even if you don’t think it’s true? Can the stories you encounter online have an impact on you even if you don’t believe them or endorse them? Prof. Jeremy Cone’s lab studies the science of first impressions — how quickly you develop an opinion about someone and how easily that opinion can be changed as you learn new things about them. SciTech Cafe at Union Station. 413-341-3161. 125 Pleasant Street, Northampton, MA.

Monday, December 2, 6:30-8pm – PARENT SUPPORT/ADHD: Northampton Area Pediatrics host a monthly Valley ADHD Parent Support Group. Join other area parents and caregivers to: Receive ADHD information and support; Be heard without being judged; Hear how others cope with similar issues and challenges; Learn about local resources for families; Hear from area specialists on pertinent topics; Learn new strategies to try at home; Leave feeling empowered and hopeful. Light refreshments will be available. ValleyADHDfamilies@gmail.com. Northampton Area Pediatrics. 413-584-8700193. Locust St., Northampton, MA.


TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3

Tuesday, December 3, 2-5pm – LIVING HISTORY/VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: “Wreath Making for the Houses of Historic Deerfield.” Wreaths were used by various ancient cultures to symbolize success, eternal life, and victory. In more modern times, a wreath on the front door is a sign of welcome and generosity during the holiday season. Learn to make beautiful natural wreaths, seasonal symbols of hospitality, and help decorate the doorways of Historic Deerfield with handmade natural wreaths. Bring your creativity, enthusiasm, and an extra pair of pruning shears. No experience required. Supplies and refreshments provided. Free, pre-registration required. Historic Deerfield. 413-775-7179. 84 Old Main St, Deerfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 3, 6:30-8pm – SENSE OF PLACE/WORKSHOP: Do you have a favorite tree in Buckland or a favorite place to take a walk? Do you like to imagine the people who lived here before? “Loving the Buckland Land: A Music, Story, and Writing Workshop with Sarah Pirtle” will combine song and storytelling to honor generations in local history, and involve participants in her excitement for the poignancy of songwriting. Buckland Public Library. 413-625-9412. 30 Upper St. Buckland, MA.

Tuesday, December 3, 7-8:30pm – FIBER ARTS/FELTING: Felted Snowman Workshop. Preregistration is required. Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA.


WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4

Wednesday, December 4, 6-7:30pm – TINY HOMES/RETIREMENT: Backyard Tiny Homes & Retirement Communities. Easthampton Council on Aging will host a forum about how backyard tiny homes and retirement communities can help families. Backyard ADUs and Lathrop Communities will discuss how building backyard tiny homes and senior communities can help families care for their loved ones in old age. The discussion will cover how to build a backyard home legally in Western Mass for family, how to finance, and how MA state programs could make a 525sf tiny home cost less than a new truck. Easthampton Council On Aging & Enrichment Center. 413-527-6151. 19 Union St. Easthampton, MA.

Wednesday, December 4, 6pm – PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT/BOOK CLUB: Books & Brew – Book Group. Cure your mid-week blues with a lively book discussion and some brew with the Springfield City Library at Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant. Library copies of each month’s book are available for checkout at the East Forest Park Branch. Nathan Bill’s Bar &Restaurant. 110 Island Pond Rd. Springfield, MA.

Wednesday, December 4, 7pm – CHRISTMAS CONCERT/CELTIC MUSIC: Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy Present: A Celtic Family Christmas. This holiday season join award-winning fiddle virtuosos Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy for an intimate and unique Christmas concert. With the duo accompanied by an incredible array of talented musicians – and their children – A Celtic Family Christmas welcomes the audience into the wonderful world of their family holiday celebration. Come early, wear your ugly sweaters, and create your own holiday photo. $25-45; Youth 17 & Under: $10-15. Approximately 1.5 hours. Appropriate for all ages. 800-999-UMAS. UMass Fine Arts Center Concert Hall. UMass. Amherst, MA.

Wednesday, December 4, 8-10pm – MUSIC STUDIES/INDONESIAN: One of the most distinctive and unique aspects of Indonesian culture is gamelan; a traditional Javanese ensemble made up mostly of various percussion instruments. Gamelan is played in a variety of cultural and religious rituals and is so ubiquitous that it inspired the Javanese expression: “It’s not official until the gong is hung.” Outside of Indonesia, gamelan has also been hugely influential. Its presence in western classical music dates back to the late 19th-century with the work of Claude Debussy. Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to hear live Central Javanese gamelan music performed by the Smith College Gamelan Ensemble and friends! Free and open to the public. Sage Hall. Earle Recital Hall. 413-585-2787. 144 Green Street. Smith College. Northampton, MA.


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 5

Thursday, December 5, 11am-12:30pm – MUSIC HISTORY/ST. NICHOLAS DAY: History of Music for the Advent & Christmas Season. Listen to many genres of Christmas seasonal music from the Middle Ages to modern times. The program will feature a great variety of music largely choral in nature from the most prolific traditions of Britain and Europe. Join for an instructive and enjoyable program of beautiful music of the season. Pre-register online: Storrs Library. 413-565-4181. 693 Longmeadow Street, Longmeadow, MA.

Thursday, December 5, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Thursday, December 5, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Thursday, December 5, 7:30-10:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/JAZZ: Chapel Jazz and Jazz Lab Ensembles at UMass Bowker Auditorium. 100 Holdsworth Way. Amherst, MA.


FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6

Friday, December 6, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 6, 11am-3pm – AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Downtown Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market. Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that despite the blustery, snow drift-covered fields that surround us, farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is not only healthy for your body, your family, and your community, but it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them to recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting to where their food comes. 1391 Main Street, 1st Floor. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 6, 3-7pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: Welcome the holiday season with the Annual Lighting of the Merry Maple on the Amherst town common! This beloved local event features an evening of holiday cheer and fun for the whole community. Check out the open house at the Fire Station, go for a hayride around the common, attend crafting and storytelling workshops, and enjoy the parade! Amherst Common. Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 6, 4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL/PLACEMAKING: Lenox Winterland. Come to downtown Lenox to enjoy some winter fun. See the beautifully decorated shops, have a hot chocolate or mulled wine, warm up by the outdoor fire, and participate in the festivity of the season. 4 Housatonic Street. Lenox, MA.

Friday, December 6, 4-8pm – PLACEMAKING/HOLIDAY STROLL: Jingle Fest in Downtown Greenfield will be hosting a wide variety of holiday festivities, including caroling and tree lighting, as well as a pop-up holiday market and art gallery. Luminaries light the way to stroll around the downtown, celebrating the holidays with the whole community. Be sure to stop by Wilson’s Department Store for an old school visit with Santa! Hosted by Greenfield Business District. Downtown Greenfield. Greenfield, MA.

Friday, December 6, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, December 6, 5-8pm – BOOKS/BOOK ART: Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair. Book fair featuring some of the best antiquarian booksellers, ephemera dealers, and book artists from New England and the Mid Atlantic states. Exhibits & sales, workshop, demonstrations, and speakers. A great event to learn about antiquarian books, maps, and prints, and to discover the art of fine letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, hand papermaking, typography, and more. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 6, 5-8pm – ART STUDIES/PLACEMAKING: As Henry David Thoreau points out, the root of the word “saunter” comes from “the idle people who roved about the country… under the pretense of going à la Sainte Terre, or the Holy Land.” Thus the act of casually strolling an inherently sacred act. For those who saunter, the entire world becomes their Holy Land. To walk aimlessly is to find a pilgrimage in every step, a temple in every tree, shrub, or blade of grass. What better way to find your temple than to combine walking with art? Pittsfield’s First Fridays Artswalk features a dozen different art shows throughout the Upstreet Cultural District. Happens every month all year (except January). Come check out amazing local art and meet some of the artists! Guided tour begins at 5pm at the Intermodal Center (BRTA, 1 Columbus Ave.). Downtown Pittsfield. Pittsfield, MA.

Friday, December 6, 5:30-8pm – HOLIDAY PJ PARTYPolar Express Pajama Party! Franklin County Technical School Assembly Hall. 413-863-9561. 82 Industrial Blvd. Turners Falls, MA.

Friday, December 6, 6:30-7pm – HOLIDAY FILM/ANIMATED: A Charlie Brown Christmas Free Show on the big screen! Garden Theater. 413-773-9260. 361 Main St. Greenfield, MA.


Saturday, December 7

Saturday, December 7, 9-10am – FAMILY RADIO/FRIENDSHIP: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, The Jolly Pops, the Happy Dads, guest host an hour of music and family fun celebrating the Holiday Season. Chompy the Alligator and Bacon the Pig take over for Mr. Billy who has gone Holiday shopping. They spin tunes, make a snowman and even enjoy a visit from Santa Claus himself. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Saturday, December 7, 9am-2pm – WINTER SPORTS/OUTFITTING: Northampton Lion’s Club Annual Ski and Skate Sale. Outfit your winter adventures with new-to-you options and prepare yourself to enjoy the great outdoors this winter here in Western MA. The annual Ski and Sate Sale has an extensive collection of new and used ski and skate equipment at affordable prices, including skis, snowboards, cross country skis, skates, jackets, hats, and other winter clothing. Smith Vocational High School. 80 Locust Street (Route 9), Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9am-3pm – HOLIDAY FAIR: St. John’s Christmas Fair. Start the Holiday season at the St. John’s Christmas Fair where you can find beautiful handcrafted gifts, snacks & sweets, and plenty of Christmas cheer! Meet Santa, sing Christmas Carols, and have a cup of warm cider. Your purchases help them to support local organizations like MANNA Soup Kitchen, Safe Passage, the Survival Center, the Interfaith Cot Shelter, and more. St. John’s Episcopal Church. 48 Elm Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9:30am & 11am – SANTA/COMMUNITY MEAL: Start the holiday season with a visit from the quintessential Christmas icon: Santa Claus! This wonderful intergenerational holiday event features a buffet-style breakfast with Santa and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Located at Look Park’s beautiful and scenic Garden House, this event is the perfect opportunity to take pictures with Santa and enjoy a lovely meal with the community. Call right away to reserve tickets. There are two seating’s, 9:30am & 11am. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 9:30am-4:30pm – NON-COMMERICAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING: It’s time again for the annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair! With nearly 100 juried artisans, live music, children’s book sale, and delicious food, this is a treasured community gathering for the whole family. Support local arts and crafts, right in time for the holiday season. Shopping for gifts at local craft fairs is a great way to invest in the local culture and economy and ensures that local artisans we value can continue doing their amazing creative work. Admission benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Northampton High School. 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

December 7, 10am-12pm – FAMILY CENTER/SING-A-LONG: Snow Day Sing-a-Long. Annual fundraiser featuring live music by Andy & Brandee! Crafts for Kids. Milk and cookies. Easthampton Family Center. 43 Main St, Old Town Hall Building, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 10am-4pm – BOOKS/BOOK ART: Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair. Book fair featuring some of the best antiquarian booksellers, ephemera dealers, and book artists from New England and the Mid Atlantic states. Exhibits & sales, workshop, demonstrations, and speakers. A great event to learn about antiquarian books, maps, and prints, and to discover the art of fine letterpress printing, hand bookbinding, hand papermaking, typography, and more. Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 33 Hawley Street, Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop local and handmade at the annual Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios and Sale. Over 50 local artists and artisans open up their studios inviting in the public to see their work, ask questions about their process, and to purchase handmade gifts for the holidays and themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to see this an old historic mill building, situated on Rt. 141 across from the Nashawanuck Pond and boardwalk. Five decades ago, it enclosed four cavernous acres of space. Riverside Industries purchased the building from JP Stevens Textiles, moved its programs in, and began renting over three maze-likee floors to bookbinders, a fine woodworking school, and an ever-growing community of artists. One Cottage Street has over 80 studios. It is now home to a lively community of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized designers, craftspeople, and fine artists, many of whom have spent their careers here in good company honing their craft. Cottage Street Studios. 413-527-2711. 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 12:30-3pm – GINGERBREAD BUILD: What candy would you use to make realistic foliage for a gingerbread house yard? What could you do with a Lifesaver? Watch as teams of four compete to build the best gingerbread house at Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity’s Annual Gingerbread Build at Eastworks. See if you can guess who will win judges’ awards such as past categories: “Best Use of the Color Green,” “Most Resembling a Sea Creature,” and “Most Resembling a Famous Landmark.” Intergenerational, creative free-play! Eastworks. 413-527-1000. 116 Pleasant St, Easthampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 1-3:30pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Family Day: Portraits and Popcorn at Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Join the museum for this year’s festive family day. Enjoy a variety of portraiture-inspired crafts, art scavenger hunts, button-making, story-time, music, and refreshments. Free and open to the public. Visitors of all ages welcome. Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. 413-538-2245. Lower Lake Rd, South Hadley, MA .

Saturday, December 7, 4pm – HOLIDAY STROLL/PLACEMAKING: Lenox Winterland. Come to downtown Lenox to enjoy some winter fun. See the beautifully decorated shops, have a hot chocolate or mulled wine, warm up by the outdoor fire, and participate in the festivity of the season. 4 Housatonic Street. Lenox, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 4pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: City of Holyoke Christmas Tree Lighting & Parade of Lights. The city of Holyoke will be hosting its annual tree lighting and parade of lights! Mayor Alex Morse and the Holyoke High School Madrigal Choir will be welcoming the community for an evening of holiday cheer, music, crafts, and lights. Holyoke City Hall. 536 Dwight Street, Holyoke, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 4:30-6pm – RESTAURANT HISTORY: A Century of Restaurants in Northampton: A Public Talk. Restaurant historian Jan Whitaker will present an illustrated history of Northampton’s restaurants of the 20th century. Jan will discuss the town’s prominent and influential restaurants of the past, along with its ordinary and forgotten places. She will look at the highs and lows of the city’s restaurant history, from the Great Depression to the “renaissance” of the 70s and 80s. Pre-registration is required. Historic Northampton. 413-584-6011. 46 Bridge Street. Northampton, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5-6pm – PLACEMAKING/TREE LIGHTING: Community traditions help to increase our sense of belonging. They are shared experiences, which bond us to each other and to the place we call home. The Whately community for their annual lighting of the library tree and celebrate with hot drinks and baked goods! Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5-7pm – DANCE STUDIES/NUTCRACKER: Enjoy dance performance and bring in holiday cheer during On Winter’s Wing: An Amherst Ballet Presentation, a show which will include class presentations (ballet, modern, and hip hop) and excerpts from the Nutcracker. Totman Performance Lab, UMass Amherst. 30 Eastman Lane, Amherst, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 5:30-7:30pm – SPORTS/CURLING: Learn to Curl. Always wanted to try curling? Here’s another chance! Learn everything you need to know and even play a short game. Boys & Girls Club Of The Berkshires. 413-448-8258. 16 Melville Street. Pittsfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 6pm – PARADE & TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY/PLACEMAKING: Seasonal use of third-spaces likes Main Streets and town commons highlight a town’s heritage and common areas through annual community celebrations. Westfield, also known as “Whip City” for its industrial history of whip production at the turn of the 19th century, host Decemberfest each year, a community-wide holiday celebration spearheaded by Westfield on Weekends. Decemberfest includes a Lantern Light Parade with giant puppets, floats, Santa Claus, live music, caroling, and hundreds of community marchers carrying lite lanterns. The parade steps off at 6:15pm from Franklin Street to Park Square Green for a tree lighting ceremony at 6:30pm. During the afternoon, an intergenerational Lantern-Making Party takes place at the local school from 9-3pm. WOW Decemberfest. 413-579-5967. Franklin Street. Westfield, MA.

Saturday, December 7, 6-9pm – PLACEMAKING/CAROLING: Holiday Caroling & Concert on Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas. Few activities can evoke the feelings of holiday cheer like caroling! Come together as a community and sing your heart out, and enjoy the luminaries as you stroll along Main Street in Stockbridge. Main Street Historic District. Stockbridge, MA.


SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8

Sunday, December 8, 7-8am – FAMILY RADIO/FRIENDSHIP: This episode of the Hilltown Family Variety Show, The Jolly Pops, the Happy Dads, guest host an hour of music and family fun celebrating the Holiday Season. Chompy the Alligator and Bacon the Pig take over for Mr. Billy who has gone Holiday shopping. They spin tunes, make a snowman and even enjoy a visit from Santa Claus himself. Click here select from over 13 years of archived shows! It’s better than Saturday morning cartoons and commercial radio! ♥ Hilltown Families eNewsletter subscribers are invited to an exclusive sneak peak every Thursday of the upcoming show. Check your eNewsletter to listen any time. Not a subscriber? Click here to subscribe to our free Weekly eNewsletter!

Sunday, December 8, 10am-4pm – NON-COMMERICAL HOLIDAY SHOPPING: It’s time again for the annual Northampton Winter Craft Fair! With nearly 100 juried artisans, live music, children’s book sale, and delicious food, this is a treasured community gathering for the whole family. Support local arts and crafts, right in time for the holiday season. Shopping for gifts at local craft fairs is a great way to invest in the local culture and economy and ensures that local artisans we value can continue doing their amazing creative work. Admission benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County. Northampton High School. 380 Elm Street, Northampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 10am-5pm – OPEN STUDIOS: Shop local and handmade at the annual Cottage Street Holiday Open Studios and Sale. Over 50 local artists and artisans open up their studios inviting in the public to see their work, ask questions about their process, and to purchase handmade gifts for the holidays and themselves. It’s also a great opportunity to see this an old historic mill building, situated on Rt. 141 across from the Nashawanuck Pond and boardwalk. Five decades ago, it enclosed four cavernous acres of space. Riverside Industries purchased the building from JP Stevens Textiles, moved its programs in, and began renting over three maze-likee floors to bookbinders, a fine woodworking school, and an ever-growing community of artists. One Cottage Street has over 80 studios. It is now home to a lively community of regionally, nationally, and internationally recognized designers, craftspeople, and fine artists, many of whom have spent their careers here in good company honing their craft. Cottage Street Studios. 413-527-2711. 1 Cottage St. Easthampton, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-1pm – CREATIVE FREE-PLAY/CRAFTS: A book signing and make-and-take craft event. Art Sparks: Draw, Paint, Make, and Get Creative with 53 Amazing Projects! by Summer Art Barn founder, Marion Abrams, and Summer Art Barn Assistant Director, Hilary Emerson Lay. This event is family friendly, and will include hands-on art activities for kids and adults of every age! Bread Euphoria Bakery & Café. 413-268-7757. 206 Main Street. Haydenville, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 11am-3pm – NON-COMMERICAL/HANDMADE: Friends of Whately Public Library Handmade Holiday Craft Fair. Whately Library. 413-665-2170. 202 Chestnut Plain Road. Whately, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 12-2:30pm – HIGHER EDUCATION: Education Club’s College for Kids Event. The University of Massachusetts Education Club hosts Out-Of-This-World activities geared towards children ages 6-12, with events like building, a scavenger hunt, acting, arts and crafts, and more. UMass. Furcolo Hall. 813 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 12-4pm – HOLIDAY LIGHTS/ARCHITECTURE: DecemberFest 2019 Holiday House Tours. What helps you celebrate the spirit of the holidays? Tour the beautiful homes in Westfield; all decked out in holiday cheer. Make your way down to the RInnova Building to grab your Holiday House Tour guide book, and then continue on a self-guided tour of 8 area homes that have been beautifully decorated for the Holiday Season. From the Colonial style Dewey House on South Maple St. to a Cape home on Tannery Rd; a Queen Anne Victorian on Hawthorne Ave to an Italianate style home on Chestnut St. Westfield On Weekends. RInnova Building. 413-579-5967. 105 Elm St, Westfield, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 1pm – EDUCATION/OPEN HOUSE: The Academy at Charlemont will host two Admissions Open House events for interested families on Sunday, October 20, and Sunday, December 8, with presentations starting at 1pm. Meet students, teachers, and current parents, and get a feel for their creative and rigorous academic programs and warm and inclusive community. The Academy offers vibrant arts, athletics, and an emphasis on critical thinking and ethical leadership. The Academy offers generous financial aid and daily round trip bus service from Greenfield, Amherst, Northampton, and the Hilltowns. Imagine loving school every day. Details at www.charlemont.org. 1359 Route 2. Charlemont, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 4-6pm – HOLIDAY CLASSICS/READING: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Winter Stories, an annual reading of seasonal and holiday classics that celebrate this time of wonder. Selections include: Just Enough is Plenty by Barbara Diamond Goldin, Owl Moon by Jane Yolen, Coming Home by Michael Morpurgo,The Scallop Christmas by Jane Freeberg, and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Everyone is welcome. Come read or listen while enjoying holiday treats and warm drinks. Please bring a donation for the Hilltown Pantry or something warm to wear for those in need, or something to share with our animal friends in shelters if you can. Meekins Library. 413-268-7472. 2 Williams St, Williamsburg, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Sunday, December 8, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


Monday, December 9

Monday, December 9, 7-8:30pm – PAPERCRAFTS/GIFTS: Homemade Cards, Boxes, and Gift Tags Workshop, an evening of creating one-of-a-kind holiday greetings. Get into the spirit of the season and make very personal greetings. Learn how to make easy little boxes out of cards or card stock. Preregister. Cushman Library. 413-648-5402. 28 Church St, Bernardston, MA.

Monday, December 9, 7:30-10:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/ORCHESTRA: UMass Amherst Symphony Orchestra, hosted by UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance. UMass Fine Arts Center. 413-545-2511. 151 Presidents Dr, Amherst, MA.


Tuesday, December 10

Tuesday, December 10, 10am-5pm – MUSEUM ADVENTURES/HOLIDAYS: Springfield Museums, home of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss, invites you to celebrate with the Gingerbread: Hollywood and the Holidays exhibitand Family Fun Holiday Happenings/Countdown to Christmas from November 29 through December 31, 2019. An annual event, the Gingerbread exhibit puts everyone in the holiday spirit. Gingerbread features a multitude of artistic culinary creations accented by creative murals, festively decorated trees, and other enchanting elements. Stop in also to view Sweet: A Tasty Journey for a history of candy and a chance to experience hands-on FUN while learning. And don’t forget to visit the Grinch, the beloved curmudgeon who helps us all remember, “Maybe Christmas means just a little bit more!” Springfield Museums. 413-263-6800. 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 1-2pm – PAPER CRAFTS/ORIGAMI: Make an Origami Crane. . Create a beautiful, cascading mobile with colorful origami cranes and simple materials. Learn to fold origami cranes, and make and balance a mobile. No prior experience is required. This is a two part program. Supplies provided by the Friends of Springfield City Library. For lifelong learners. Springfield Central Library. 413-263-6828. 220 State Street. Springfield MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 5:30-6:30pm – ORNITHOLOGY/CROWS: In Lawrence, MA, as many as 27,000 crows roosting every night! Join Bob and Dana Fox for the Fabulous Winter Crow Roost where they will share their observations of the crows staging and roosting. Why do crows do this? Where do they go during the day? What are the patterns observed each winter? See their amazing photographs while learning about this highly intelligent bird and their unusual roosting phenomena. You will want to go out and observe a crow roost when they finish! Read more on their blog, http://www.wintercrowroost.com. Best for self-directed teens and lifelong learners. Northfield Mountain. 413-659-3714. 99 Millers Falls Road, RT 63, Northfield, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 5:30-7:30pm – FRENCH CULTURE/COMMUNITY MEAL: ARHS 5th French/Francophone Dinner, a night of cultural experience and delicious Francophone cuisine presented by the ARHS French students and the French Club. The cultural show will include poetry, music, singing, and more! For more information: waskiewiczmj@arps.org; cisseo@arps.org. Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. 21 Matoon St. Amherst, MA.

Tuesday, December 10, 6:30-8pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHORAL: Northampton Community Music Center’s Annual Holiday Choral Festival. This concert showcases eight local choral groups, free and open to the public. First Churches of Northampton. 413-584-9392. 129 Main St, Northampton, MA.


Wednesday, December 11

Wednesday, December 11, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Wednesday, December 11, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


Thursday, December 12

Thursday, December 12, 4-9pm – PLACEMAKING/LIGHT DISPLAY: It’s time for the annual Winter Wonderland Light Display at Look Park. The entire park will be transformed into a magical holiday celebration of light. And don’t forget to wave to the dragon! Sharing traditions like this with the community creates a deeper sense of place and belonging. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Thursday, December 12, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.


Friday, December 13

Friday, December 13, 11am-3pm – AGRICULTURE/WINTER FARMERS’ MARKET: Downtown Springfield Winter Farmers’ Market. Winter farmers’ markets provide a fresh and colorful oasis during the winter months, reminding us that despite the blustery, snow drift-covered fields that surround us, farm-fresh foods of all kinds are still available. Connecting to the local food chain year-round is not only healthy for your body, your family, and your community, but it can be educational as well! Exposing children to the vast array of foods available from winter farmers’ markets can help them to recognize that there are many different methods for growing and producing food while connecting to where their food comes. 1391 Main Street, 1st Floor. Springfield, MA.

Friday, December 13, 11:30am-1:20pm – ICE SKATING: Are you a homeschool or unschooling family? The Mullins Center offers a weekday public ice skate for families to attend. Great opportunity for physical activity while making community connections. Ice skate rentals are free and guardian’s skates for free. All families are welcome. Mullins Center. 413-545-3040. 200 Commonwealth Ave. Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 13, 4-5pm – ARCHITECTURE/SUSTAINABILITY: Did you know the Hitchcock Center is a Living Building? It is designed to model systems in nature, it’s net-zero energy and water, has composting toilets, and has been made with responsibly sourced non-toxic materials. Learn what makes our building a unique teaching tool, empowering visitors to ask, “what does sustainability look like in the built environment and my community?” Arrive curious with your questions! Hitchcock Center for the Environment. 413-256-6006, 845 West St, Amherst, MA.

Friday, December 13, 4-7pm – ART STUDIES/MUSEUM ADVENTURES: Free Second Fridays at the Smith College Museum of Art gives visitors a special opportunity to explore the collections and engage with art on a deeper level. Create your own work of art, with hands on activities for all ages based on specific works in the museum and go on a special guided conversation tour. Light refreshments. Smith College Museum of Art. 413-585-2760. 20 Elm Street at Bedford Terrace. Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 13, 4-8pm – HOLIDAY TRAIN RIDE/CHRISTMAS: Santa’s Trains at Look Park, a beloved holiday tradition for families throughout the Pioneer Valley runs nightly through December 23. The Garden House, transformed into a Victorian-style Train Depot complete with model rail cars whizzing through miniature villages, will surprise and delight children of all ages. Kids can share their holiday wishes with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Enjoy a holiday cookie and cocoa by the fire. Be marveled by the magic of the season. Look Memorial Park. 413-584-5457. 300 N Main St, Florence, MA.

Friday, December 13, 5-8pm – PLACEMAKING/FESTIVAL: From Hanukkah to Diwali and Christmas, communities all over the world mark the coming of winter with a festival of lights. There is something deep and powerful about creating light in the midst of the darkness, and it is no surprise that this ritual inspires such faith and hope to people around the world. This holiday season, Naumkeag in Stockbridge will be illuminated by thousands of shimmering lights and displays. Embrace the holiday spirit and the continued presence of light amidst the darkness with an evening of music, community cheer, and fun children’s activities. Naumkeag. 413-298-3239. 5 Prospect Hill Rd, Stockbridge, MA.

Friday, December 13, – BALLET/THE NUTCRACKER: Pioneer Valley Ballet presents the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker! Join Clara as she battles the Rat King to save the Nutcracker Prince, then travel through the enchanted Snow Forest and beautiful Kingdom of Sweets. Live on stage December 13-15 at the Academy of Music in Northampton. A special Sensory and Family Safe Presentation on December 13 at 4pm has lighting and sound accommodations for a reduced sensory experience and is also ideal for young children. Select performances will have special guest entertainment and the chance to participate in a pre-show Storytime with Clara. Get tickets today at aomtheatre.com. For more information about the Pioneer Valley Ballet company and school, visit pioneervalleyballet.org. Academy of Music Theatre. 413-584-9032. 274 Main St, Northampton, MA.

Friday, December 13, 7pm – CLASSIC LITERATURE/CHRISTMAS: A Christmas Carol. Adapted from a full-length version, this hour-long performance features the recreation of a 1930s production being broadcast live from the radio studio. The show is complete with six actors in period costume, gathered around standing microphones and voicing multiple characters. A Christmas Carol will feature creative sound effects that recreates the excitement of the early days of live sound production with an assortment of weird-looking and -sounding machines which he wields in full view of the audience during the course of the show. Period commercials spice up the station identification breaks! Says the director of this performance, “A Christmas Carol is a perfect theater piece for a holiday revival because it not only entertains an audience but it directly addresses the meaning of being human. It engages and delights the youngest to the oldest member of an audience.” Hawks & Reed Performing Arts Center, 289 Main Street, Greenfield, MA.

Friday, December 13, 7:30pm – MUSIC STUDIES/CHORUS: embraces historical performance practice to illuminate and invigorate the great Western heritage of vocal and instrumental music. Join them for Handel’s ​Messiah, their annual, signature performance with the Cathedral Choir of Men and Boys of Albany, soloists, and guest conductor Woodrow Bynum. Our Lady of the Valley Parish. 33 Adams St. Easthampton, MA.


Hilltown Families’ list of Suggested Events is supported in part by grants from the Bernardston, Chester, Heath, Montgomery, Pelham, Rowe, South Hadley, Amherst, Hatfield, Russell, Shutesbury, and Springfield Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

1 Comment

  1. Carol Freed Bruml said,

    December 3, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Please add a conspicuous “DONATE” or “SUPPORT” button to your site to encourage folks to donate. I have not donated this year, because I cannot figure out how to do so.

    Like


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